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Protecting and enhancing scenic and cultural landscapes

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Planning Priority E16

The scenic and cultural landscapes of the Eastern City District contribute to the identity and international profile of Greater Sydney. Scenic and cultural landscapes encourage an appreciation of the natural environment, protect heritage and culture, and create economic opportunities, particularly for recreation and tourism. Aboriginal culture is deeply entwined in the landscapes of Greater Sydney.

Scenic and cultural landscapes can complement green infrastructure, particularly where scenic landscapes include waterways and urban bushland. Scenic and cultural landscapes can often be prone to natural hazards, for example escarpments can be prone to land slip and erosion.

One of the District's key assets is its stunning Harbour and coastline. The District's urban landscapes sit within this natural setting and contribute to the diversity of the District's scenic value. The unique built form of locations such as the Sydney Opera House, the Rocks and Sydney Harbour Bridge further add to this setting.

Opportunities to enhance views of Sydney Harbour come with renewal projects such as The Bays Precinct. Renewal in the eastern urban parts of the District can also protect and maintain views to the coastline, harbours and waterways from public spaces. Opportunities to establish or maintain access to Harbour foreshores and coastline can also be created through urban renewal.

Local neighbourhoods and centres, dense commercial and retail centres, open spaces and industrial precincts each have their own distinct character and add to the patchwork of the built environment of the District.

The Sydney City skyline (including the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge) is an iconic urban landscape and can be viewed from many areas of Greater Sydney. Local centres and neighbourhoods present varied and valuable local character. The planning and design of neighbourhoods across the District, particularly areas experiencing renewal, will need to consider ways to protect and enhance important cultural landscapes.

Continued protection of the Eastern City District's scenic and cultural landscapes is important for the sustainability, liveability and productivity of the District. It can complement the protection of biodiversity and habitat, help manage natural hazards and support tourism. Protecting scenic and cultural landscapes can also help preserve links to Aboriginal cultural heritage.


Identify and protect scenic and cultural landscapes.

Councils, other planning authorities and State agencies


Enhance and protect views of scenic and cultural landscapes from the public realm. 

Councils, other planning authorities and State agencies